Clear Creek runs through the heart of Golden, offering scenic beauty, recreation, and a valuable natural resource all in one popular, sparkling package. Fishermen, kayakers, tubers, sunbathers, runners, bikers, skateboarders, walkers, gold-panners…almost everyone who lives in or visits Golden is drawn to the banks of this popular waterway and the Clear Creek Trail system that runs alongside it for one of the many recreational opportunities it affords. Clear Creek has also been the center of Golden’s commerce since the City was founded, providing a natural water source for Coors Brewery, and the center of many a gold miner’s hopes and dreams during the Gold Rush. Today, the Creek continues to be Golden’s central hub of activity.
Learn more about the City’s ongoing efforts to protect this unique and beloved resource with the Clear Creek Management Plan.
Clear Creek Trail is actually a group of trails that connect nearby neighborhoods to schools, the Golden Community Center, the downtown area, and many popular spots. Starting at it’s most western point, the trail follows Clear Creek past the RV park on the northern bank, and continues east past Clear Creek White Water Park, Lions Park, the library, Golden City Government buildings and the Chamber of Commerce, then moves to the south bank after crossing Washington Street. Soon after, the trail jogs north and connects with Vanover Park, then continues on to Wheat Ridge, eventually connecting with other trails in the Denver Metro area.
Download the Regional Clear Creek Trail Map for a view of the full trail system.
This trail is easy, multi-use (bikes, rollerblades, skateboards, runners, walkers), and paved.
Access the Clear Creek Trail via Vanover Park at Water and Ford streets, the Visitor Center at Washington and 10th streets, the Library at 10th and Illinois streets, Lions Park at 10th and Maple streets, or from 6th Avenue Trail.
Golden offers an abundant amount of FREE parking for visitors on weekends and holidays and for the first two hours on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Street parking is also free throughout the City, except for designated residential parking at certain times and days around the Colorado School of Mines campus and 9th Street.
Please visit our Visitor Parking page for more information about parking in Golden, including maps, and parking rates and locations for long-term parking on weekdays.
Rules & Regulations
It’s simple – “Be good to the Creek and it will be good to you.”
- Pick up your trash and recycle
- Scoop the poop and keep dogs leashed
- Respect nature and sensitive areas
- Stay out of fenced-off areas
- Keep food, drink and structures out of creek
- Respect the planet, people and property
In addition to these rules of respectful and neighborly behavior along the creek, the City enforces three zero tolerance regulations, called “The Golden Rule.”
Read more about the rules and regulations that apply to using any of our many beautiful parks on our Park Rules page.
Clear Creek Trail is maintained by the City of Golden. We appreciate resident and visitor communication and feedback to ensure the Golden parks system remains safe and clean. To report maintenance concerns or damages, contact the Parks Department at (303) 384-8140.